A two-block area near the downtown section of Girard was blocked off late Thursday night due to what fire officials called an “unknown odor” coming from an area outside the Craw-Kan Telephone auxiliary building on South Summit St.

A two-block area near the downtown section of Girard was blocked off late Thursday night due to what fire officials called an “unknown odor” coming from an area outside the Craw-Kan Telephone auxiliary building on South Summit St.
Members of the Regional Haz-Mat team out of Coffeyville were dispatched along with the Girard Fire Department, Girard Police Department, City of Girard crews, Crawford County Emergency Medical Services and Crawford County Sheriff’s department.
Girard Fire Chief Dustin Johnson said that crews were dispatched after Craw-Kan employees detected a smell coming from around their building on Thursday night.
“We don’t know where the source is and that is posing a problem,” Johnson said.
He said that crews also alerted the nearby residential areas of the situation and most of the residents in the area — approximately 30 — elected to leave their homes until the issue was resolved.
“There is not a mandatory evacuation but, most of the people felt that it was in their best interest to leave,” Johnson said. “We just let the residents know of the potential dangers.”
At around 10:40 p.m., Regional Haz-Mat crews along with members of the Girard Fire Department entered the area to assess the situation.
“We don’t want anything happening to the city and we are going to get samples,” said Bob Roesky with the Regional Haz-Mat team out of Coffeyville.
He said that preliminary readings showed that whatever the material was registering within safe ranges and did not pose an immediate threat.
Johnson said that the odor, which could be an “unknown flammable source,” was potentially located to the southeast of the Craw-Kan building, which is located a block from the County Courthouse in Girard.
“The smell is also coming from various manholes in the area,” Johnson said.
He said that no residents had detected the smell when they were alerted by emergency crews earlier in the night.
While crews did not know the source, nor the exact location of the odor, Johnson said that the area was secure.
“We have it contained in the area so, there should not be any danger to the downtown area of Girard in the morning,” Johnson said.